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Smear test results show change in cells....

(27 Posts)
Momma23 Fri 17-Apr-09 13:42:05

Just had results of my smear test, there showing change in cells. Have to go back in 4 months from the date of the smear and check if they have cleared or need treatment.
Has anyone ever this happen?

Momma23 Fri 17-Apr-09 14:14:20


Pinkchampagne Fri 17-Apr-09 14:18:17

Yes I had this years ago. Mine showed slight changes which ended up clearing up by themselves over time. That was around 11 years ago & touch wood, have had clear smears since. Try not to worry. smile

Momma23 Fri 17-Apr-09 14:23:44

Thank you pinkchampagne
Just got a shock, i had missed the doctors call and knew what she was ringing for. (if test showed nothing they would not have rang) Hoping that it clears it's self, plus i dont really want to go worry people when there is a chance all will be fine.

georgiemum Fri 17-Apr-09 14:29:27

Happened to me. Shock, worry, panic... but everything was ok.

Momma23 Fri 17-Apr-09 14:36:06

Shock, worry, panic.... You said it in one! The last year has been one of the toughest for use as a family, DP illness, death in the family, birth of DD, recession hitting, and now faced with abnormal cells that may or may not be anything. Either way i have a horrible wait to find out...

georgiemum Fri 17-Apr-09 14:38:58

Fingers will duly be held crossed until you get the all clear (which you will).

ridingjoker Fri 17-Apr-09 14:41:29

i had this. got another test. showed abnormal cells.

had colposcopy treatment. not pleasant. but as long as they catch it early its nothing to worry about.

Momma23 Fri 17-Apr-09 14:41:33

Thanks fingers crossed all will be ok...

Momma23 Fri 17-Apr-09 14:43:31

Once you had the colposcopy treatment were you givin the all clear?

ridingjoker Fri 17-Apr-09 14:47:08

you have to go for 6 monthly smears for couple of year. then its back to getting them every couple of year

FlorenceofArabia Fri 17-Apr-09 15:46:07

Momma23 - you don't have a "horrible wait to find out". You already know! smile If there was anything to be concerned about you would be sent for a colposcopy straight away. About 1 in 10 smear tests show mildly abnormal cell changes which will probably revert to normal within 6 months or less. Hence they want to do another test then. If there are still abnormalities they'll do a colposcopy which is an examination to see if the cells need some quick and effective treatment to get rid of them.

Hopefully BellaNoir will be along to give you some reassurance from an expert.

Timbuktu Fri 17-Apr-09 16:14:00

I had a smear test six months ago which showed borderline cell abnormalities - just got the results today of the most recent one which showed everything is back to normal (very common). They want to check again in twelve months.

Momma23 Fri 17-Apr-09 20:54:55

Thank you, you have put my mind at ease a bit. When i was on the phone to the doctor all the kids were crying (always happens when i have important calls) Thank you for making it clear, think i was in a muddle when i got off the phone.

Glad you have the all is clear, and hopefully i will in my next smear.

BellaNoir Fri 17-Apr-09 23:48:38

Hallo Momma23

If they've asked you to come back in 4 months then the changes as the others have said are usually very minor did - as timbuktu said this is called borderline changes. They do usually go back to normal on the next one but we ask to have 3 follow ups before you'd go back onto routine 3 yearly.

Florence is correct - the wait is to give your body time to sort itself out. What we report in the lab as borderline changes can be caused by quite a few things such as infections (e.g. thrush/candida), use of IUCD or IUD, hormonal changes caused by depo, post-natal or post-menopausal status. It may also due to HPV infection which most women at some point in their lives will have had and cleared. I'm not saying that is what has caused your result - obviously because I haven't seen your sample. There is overlap between the changes seen in the nucleus of the cell due to things like infection which make the cells active and abnormality which is also really active cells. This is why sometimes you get asked to come back as a precaution.

The NHS Cervical Screening programme has a website here which has some useful info. Usually you should get a result letter which would have information leaflets about what your test result means.

Momma23 Sat 18-Apr-09 00:40:52

Many thanks, worrying myself into a state. But that makes so much sense. DD3 is only 9 months and i have had thrush at least 3 times since. Going to try and put this in the back of my mind and wait for the test.
Thank you so much, i really appricate your advice and will have a look in the link. I really dont know what i would do with out mumsnet sometimes.

sandrella Thu 15-Oct-09 15:02:03

Hiya just wanted to share my experiance with you, i had abnormal cells CIN 3 about 8 weeks ago i had my self in a right state... freaqunt visits to my Gp just to get thro the day i was told not to worry etc they are abnormal cells, but still i worried to the point of fainting i went in for a cone biopsy which was uncomfortable but thats all i made matters worse by being so scared, however a long 4 weeks later i got the letter to say there were no cancer cells presant and all the abnormal cells were removed so go for smear to my gp in 6 month then 6 month later and so on please dont worry anyone going thro this it is very scary but please listen to good advise you will be ok,i still worry tho...why me, how ,what caused it will it come back etc but im trying to put it in perspective i worried so much i am now being treat for deppression my own fault hopefully i can forget it now im 45 so dont want anymore children good luck to all waiting for results

newMNer Fri 23-Oct-09 17:39:26

Hi, I was going to post on this, but found the thread to add to. I got a letter 18 months ago saying there were cell changes and to re-test 6 months later. I became pregnant 4 months later so I missed the re-rest and had to wait until baby was 3 to 4 months old. In that time poor Jade suffered cervical cancer, so obviously it was very much on my mind then, but nothing I could do about it.
Anyway, I was re-tested in early September this year and have just this week received my results from that test. Again there are cell changes and I'm to go back in 6 months. But, the day after getting that letter, I also received a letter asking me to go for a test, stating I've not had one since May 2008, and it's important for me to go as my last test in 2008 showed abnormal results.
Anyway, it seems to me that the changes have not sorted themselves out in 1 1/2 years or even more. The test I had 18 months ago was the 3rd in a row after they kept recalling me as they didn't have a good enough sample. That process seemed to go on for a long time, and so prior to the abnormal result, it was about 4 years before when I had a normal result. So could have had these cell changes for years.
What would you advice I do? I've considered being tested again now, or could I ask for a colposcopy. It seems someone somewhere isn't sure what's going on with my tests. Thanks.

BelaLugosiNoir Fri 23-Oct-09 19:53:41

Hi newMNer
You'll have got the letter asking you to go for a follow-up test because that would have been sent out just before the test result went through so they have crossed in the post.
You've had several repeat tests but it's not clear from your post whether they were all abnormal -
Can I check? The May 08 was abnormal - it was the third in the row but the previous 2 were insufficient/inadequate so not abnormal and then Sept 09 was also abnormal.
What were the cell changes given in the letter? If it's borderline changes then you've had two tests with probably minor changes present.
I would not suggest having another test now as its only 6 weeks since the last one. If you are concerned then discussing it with your GP and what is best management for your circumstances - you can discuss whether colposcopy would help set your mind at ease. The vast majority of minor changes do back to normal given time, sometimes it does take 18-24 months.

alypaly Fri 23-Oct-09 21:37:47

had 3 bad ones myself and just had to have loop diathermy ,they wont do anything with mild changes as they can go back to normal....normally they wait 6 months between smears and you will have to have them 6 monthly til you have 2 normal ones

newMNer Sat 24-Oct-09 14:19:54

Hi there,
Yes sorry not to be clear.
In May 08 I had an abnormal smear stating borderline changes. That smear was after 2 previous tests that were unsuccessful due to the sample not having enough cells. Prior to the 3 tests in 2008, it was about 3 to 4 years since being tested, so my last 'normal' result was around 2004. I was tested in Sept 09 and that test too said borderline changes.
OK, so the changes can take 18 months or longer to go back to normal? I guess I was getting the impression that they would go back to normal in 3-6 months and was thinking that if they hadn't in that time that further investigation would be required. I was a little concerned that they were not doing anything as they were not sure I'd been retested.
My baby keeps getting letters asking me to book her in for her injections, even though I've done so. Maybe it's just the way their system works.
So I will go back in 6 months, but at least I'm more aware of the situation now. Thanks

BelaLugosiNoir Sat 24-Oct-09 19:02:10

Hi newMNer
The time taken for borderline changes to resolve can vary depending on the cause. Causes can include: infections such as Candida, hormonal changes such as being post-natal, using IUCD or depo-provera contraception, sometimes its because the cells weren't very well preserved and were tricky to interpret, so the cytologist may have been working on the cautious side and wanted to get a repeat test.
Sometimes HPV infection is the cause of a borderline result. Most people have had HPV at some point in their life, and the immune system deals with it, the time taken to clear it varies but it can take up to 24 months from what I've read. So if a woman has a cervical sample taken during that time, it will probably show some changes in the cells but it will go away without treatment. From a cytologist's POV we can't tell what stage the infection's at, all we can see is the changes it causes in the cells. So we can also see when it's no longer active. See my post above (of Fri 17-Apr-09 23:48:38)

The follow-up tests are usually three repeats over a period of 18 months, usually 6 months apart. Sometimes women will have a couple of tests with low grade changes, a year apart and then go back to normal afterwards.

The letters you've received about cervical screening, did they come from 'call/recall', 'screening services' or the PCT - they will usually be on the behalf of your GP these days. Some areas still have the GP/surgery send out the letters.
The reminder letter may have been produced before the result of your test got entered onto the system as the test result is sent from the lab to the PCT database who send the invite/reminder/result letters. The surgery may also contact you with reminders as well.
Here is an outline of the Cervical screening process, my post on 12/10/09 at 21:59.
It might be worth checking with your practice that they have a copy of your test result as well, to ensure their records have been updated.
At any point, if you have any pain, discomfort or unusual bleeding then you should see a GP. If your follow-up test in six months time shows low grade changes again, then usually you would be referred to colposcopy. The guidelines say no more than 3 low grades in a 10 year period, even if you have been returned to normal recall.

Elis1234 Tue 13-Sep-16 10:18:48

Hello everyone,

Wondering if someone can help me I have recived a letter saying i have abnormal changes with my smear test and this needs to be investigated. Iam really worried about this, as I talked to a nurse I have know for years and she said I have cancer. But I have not had any symptoms. The only thing I have had is bleeding after sexual active and random blood discharged after my periods. If anyone has any information about this it would mean a lot. Thank you X

NotCitrus Tue 13-Sep-16 10:42:19

Elis - smear tests are looking for changes that could become cancerous if not dealt with - a nurse saying you have cancer is scaremongering. Though bleeding in between periods and after sex is also something that should be investigated, so do go see the doctor ASAP.

For reference, Mumsnet culture is not to post on old threads but to start a new one, but in the circs don't worry about that (you may have got a red message about reanimating zombies...)

HairyLittlePoet Tue 13-Sep-16 10:56:37

My last smear test in 2015 reported "a borderline result" and no evidence of HPV.

However I apparently am not being offered retesting and have to wait the full three years for another smear.

Is this everyone else's experience?

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